Recent Media Coverage of Iskatewizaagegan No. 39’s Fight for Water Justice: “Full Compensation Promised in 1913”

April 7, 2021

The CBC recently published an article by journalist Colin Perkel of the Canadian Press on Iskatewizaagegan No. 39 Independent First Nation’s fight for justice over the taking of water from Shoal Lake. The lake is of vital importance to the First Nation and also serves as the sole source of drinking water for the City of Winnipeg, more than 150km away. Chief Gerald Lewis of Iskatewizaagegan No. 39 Independent First Nation spoke with the Canadian Press about his community’s lawsuit over the longstanding unauthorized taking of water from Shoal Lake, which falls within the traditional territory of the First Nation.

As Chief Lewis said, “We never made an agreement with the city. We never signed [any] rights away with the city. […] It would be nice if they would come to the table and start discussing these issues but, in the past, the door was slammed.”

The article discusses the First Nation’s relationship with Shoal Lake and its ongoing litigation against Winnipeg and the Province of Ontario for their failure to compensate the First Nation and protect its interests in Shoal Lake. The article reports that Ontario recently failed in its attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed at a preliminary stage, with Justice Perrell of the Superior Court of Justice concluding that the First Nation should have the opportunity to have its case heard.

Falconers LLP has the honour of representing Iskatewizaagegan No. 39 Independent First Nation in the litigation.

CBC’s coverage can be found here:

For more on Justice Perrell’s February 17th decision, read our update here:

Court Rejects Ontario’s Bid to Duck Shoal Lake Court Case (February 17, 2021)

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